Every interaction you have with someone is an opportunity to build your relationship and trust. As product designers, we should build a relationship with users as soon as they begin using our products. It is a significant investment for those who are spending time, money, and opportunities on our behalf. We are responsible for ensuring their product grows. Interaction design is a technique for establishing a natural relationship between a product and its user. We should implement a calculative interaction design for any product that helps build a better experience and ROI.
In this newsletter, I’ll go over the scientific principles of interaction design with real-life examples. Hopefully, it will help designers create things that are understandable to people.
What is interaction?
Continuous conversation between two or more parties. It could happen to your partners, pets, family members, or even the digital devices we use every day.
What is interaction design?
When we interact with a product or an object, we all want to interact in a natural way. Most of the time, we interact with products based on our habits, comfort, and usefulness. If a product fails to meet these criteria, we often ignore it. Interaction design helps us to create products that meet needs of users and interact with them in a way that they would expect.
Interaction design is creating conversation a product or system has with its user.
Fundamental principle of Interaction design:
We live on a planet filled with natural and artificial objects. We have different relationships with different objects, like a pen that affords us to write something, a mobile that affords us to make calls, entertainment, etc.
Affordances enable particular types of interaction between objects and persons, whether animal or human or machine and robot. It determines the relationship between an object and a person’s abilities.
For instance: A door allows you to close any room. We had a door knob to open and close. We might also lock them to protect assets. These are a few affordances that doors have.
Designers should consider affordances in their designs based on user ability they are targeting. A perfect balance of user’s ability and object/product properties results in a pleasant experience.
It’s a communication device that communicates what to do and where to do it.
People need to know the way to understand any product or service that they wish to use. Some signs reflect what is happening and what alternative actions are possible. People find clues for any sign that might help them understand. These signs are called signifiers.
Designers should use signifiers that can make visible actions and affordances possible. Sometimes we need to hide affordance and signifiers. It depends on context. Cleverly should handle this in design.
Mapping refers to relationship between two things, controls and their movements, and outcomes in the real world.
Look at the figure below; it shows an English book that we read from left to right and then flip right to left to move on. Another name for a Japanese book is “Manga,” which is usually read right to left and flipped left to right.
Feedback — sending back to user information about what action has actually been done, and what result has been accomplished.
For example, when we press an electric switch, we expect device to start or stop. We expect something to happen when we tap on our phones. These results, which show task status, are known as feedback.
When a user completes a task, we should enable feedback that shows status of their task. It is critical for users to know whether or not this meets their expectations.
To design a Human-Centered product, we must learn interaction design. Every UX and product designer should dive deep into interaction design to mature their design thinking mindset. It is a vast subject for study and research.